Unknown men set a girl school on fire in Shakar Dara district of Kabul.

Nasrat Rahimi, spokesperson for ministry of interior affairs, said that Boo’e Hazar Naseri girl high school was burnt down on mid Tuesday night.

According to Rahimi, Taliban fighters closed down the school and set it on fire.

Zabihullah Mujahid, spokesperson for the Taliban group, rejected the claim made by the government, saying the Taliban protect educational institutions.

In Afghanistan, an estimated 3.7 million children are out-of-school and 60 percent of them are girls, according to UNICEF.

Widespread combat fought between the pro-Afghan government forces and the Taliban fighters holds back scores of girls out of school. Majority of girl schools are closed in rural areas, where the government and the Taliban forces fight.  

The Afghan security forces and the Taliban use school building as shields in ruthless battles. Over 1,000 schools remain close across the country, according to Afghan education ministry.

This came while the United States and the Taliban group continue to have direct talks to end the 18-year long war. In August, 2019, the U.S representatives and Taliban leaders hold eight round of peace talks in Doha, Qatar. The two sides announced that they were close to reach final agreement.  

In intra-Afghan peace talks, the Taliban group pledged to protect public institutions, such as religious centers, schools, hospitals, public squares, and infrastructures.

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